Monday, October 28, 2013

October Recipe ~ Baked Penne Pasta with ChocoNutCheese Grater Review

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Pasta is an absolute staple in my house.  Seems like every time I make some spaghetti, I have a lot of left over sauce, so I end up baking with it to create a whole new dish.  It's a quick and easy way to use up left over sauce, and the flavors bake into the pasta.  To help me out with this recipe I received a ChocoNutCheese Grater from Find HIC, Harold Import Co. in exchange for my honest review of the product.  Having already broken a couple of cheese graters, I was excited to test this out.

As usual, I did not bother reading the directions first, and getting it apart for washing without reading the directions was impossible.  Took me a couple times reading through and some upper arm strength to get the grater to twist apart from the rest of the unit, but now it's a breeze to take apart and put together.  I throw everything except the rod, nut and washer into the dishwasher for cleaning.  Thankfully this includes a couple of washers that are stored on the base, I know it's not gonna be long before one of my kids looses that tiny thing while taking it apart for the dishwasher.

I think my favorite aspect is the dual chambers.  I love the creaminess of mozzarella, and the tang of Parmesan, but I hate having to grate two different cheeses on my old bloody knuckles grater.  With this I can stuff each chamber with a different cheese and it blends them together perfectly.  Once inside the grater, the cheese is not touched again, so I have no problems with passing it around the table and letting everyone twist till they have the amount of cheese they want.  It's a smooth twist and I like how the chamber is clear so I can see how much cheese is left.  When I'm not using it, I just pop the base on and throw it in the fridge to use the next day.  My family loves cheese, so it does not take more than a day or two for us to demolish the cheese I have stuffed in the grater.

For the baked Penne, I don't have any idea how much cheese I used.  I just stuffed some into the grater and had at it till I was satisfied with the coverage.  I was smacking at some hands while covering the pasta because both my kids were taking pinches of the cheese as I was grating it.  There is a 'speed grate' option with flipping the unit upside down, attaching the base and flipping out the handle to twist faster.  It does go faster, but I like being able to see my cheese fall onto what ever I'm covering, so I don't think I'll be using that method much.  Now on to the recipe!

1 box Penne pasta
1 jar red pasta sauce
1 jar Alfredo sauce
1 lb ground beef
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced red peppers
grated mozzarella cheese
grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350. In large pot mix red pasta sauce and Alfredo sauce together, set on low heat for easy simmer. Cook Penne according directions on box. Drain and place pasta in large baking dish. In separate pan sautee onions with a splash of cooking oil or butter, then add to sauce. Repeat process with red peppers. Brown ground beef, drain off excess fat, and add cooked meat to sauce. Add 2-3 cups sauce to pasta in backing dish and mix together. Cover with cheeses. Bake for 30-45 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

Find HIC, Harold Import Co. On-line: